Builders, contractors, and others assisting businesses and consumers in Nebraska with building or siding projects should file liens if they are not paid in a timely manner. 

That lien must be filed within 120 days of when a contractor last completes work at the property (Neb. Rev. Stat. 52-137). Unfortunately, that timing requirement may come up quickly when a kind homeowner isn’t able to pay.

Pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. 52-147 contractors that want to file a lien need to draft a lien and ensure it notes the following.  

  • The legal description of the property where they completed the work
  • The name of the person the lien is to be filed against (agency is presumed between spouses, joint tenants, and tenants in common, so they can be included as well)
  • The name and address of the contractor
  • A description of the work completed
  • The amount that is still outstanding to be paid
  • And the time the last services or materials were provided

The form should leave at least three inches at the top for recording information.

The lien must be recorded within one hundred twenty days (120) days after the contractor last completed work or provided materials at the property.  The lien needs to be recorded with the register of deeds in the county where the property is located.

Contractors that may be concerned about whether the owner of property is aware that they are completing work may want to send notice of their right to assert a lien as specified in Neb. Rev. Stat. 52-135.  A contractor is only required to comply with Neb. Rev. Stat. 52-135 when the contracting owner is a “protected party”. A “protected party” is an individual who contracts to give a real estate security interest in, or to buy or to have improved, residential real estate all or a part of which he or she occupies or intends to occupy as a residence; or a person obligated primarily or secondarily on a contract to buy or have improved residential real estate or on an obligation secured by residential real estate if, at the time he or she becomes obligated, he or she is related to an individual who occupies or intends to occupy all or a part of the real estate as a residence (Neb. Rev. Stat. 52-129).

Many of our clients are kind people, who want to work with property owners to resolve amounts not yet paid.  However, contractors must keep in mind the 120 day deadline to file their lien.  Contractors that anticipate issues being paid, perhaps as the subcontractor of another subcontractor, could consider sending notice of their right to assert a lien. For questions regarding liens, contact an attorney at our Sioux Falls, Sioux City, or Omaha office today.

Angela Madathil is happy to assist if Contractors, Siding Companies, Roofers and other service providers in Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas need assistance filing a construction lien, or filing suit to enforce the lien.

Angela Madathil is a Construction Attorney and provides legal assistance to Contractors, Roofing Companies, Siding Companies, Architects, and Engineers in Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas.   This can involve contract review and negotiation, ongoing contract guidance during a project, and risk mitigation when issues arise.  The Goosmann Law Firm team advises Contractors, Architects, and Engineers throughout the Midwest and has attorneys licensed in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and other states.



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